Picture: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON
Picture: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON

The JSE was on track to snap a two-week losing streak on Friday, needing to lose more than 0.87%, as markets waited for a Chinese response to a US bill on Hong Kong.

Locally, the market may get direction from market heavyweight Naspers, due to report its results to end-September later.

Global markets remain fixated on the relationship between the US and China, however.

On Wednesday, the US Congress adopted a bill calling for a review of Hong Kong’s trade relationship with the US, setting the stage for a showdown with Beijing as China grapples with violent pro-democracy protests in the financial centre.

The market is firmly on China watch waiting to measure Beijing's response to the Hong Kong bill and to determine if it becomes another roadblock to a trade deal,” said AxiTrader senior market analyst Stephen Innes in a note.

Reports have suggested US President Donald Trump will sign  the bill, though the New York Times has reported that the White House would not confirm this.

Locally, the rand has lifted after the Reserve Bank kept the repo rate on hold on Thursday, as expected.

In morning trade on Friday Asian markets were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.56%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.26%.

Tencent was up 0.43% in Hong Kong.

Gold was flat at $1,464.70/oz while platinum had fallen 0.56% to $909.50. Brent crude was flat at $63.64 a barrel.

The rand was flat at R14.6845/$, having gained 0.67% on Thursday. The local currency has firmed a marginal 0.15% against the greenback so far this week, putting it on track for its third-consecutive week of gains.

Naspers is expected to report later that core headline earnings per share from continuing operations rose as much as 10.7% in the six months to end September. Fair-value gains on investments held by Tencent are expected to be about $400m, less than the $1.5bn in the prior comparative period.

Tiger Brands is also due to release its full-year results to end-September later, though it has not issued a trading statement.

S&P Global Ratings is due to release its latest assessment of SA’s credit rating, which is expected to take place after local markets close.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za